Mershon Center Speaker Series
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Work, Energy, and the Value of Nature: From Planetary Conquest to Epochal Crisis in the Capitalist World-Ecology
Thursday, January 19, 2017, 12:00PM – 1:30PM
The Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Avenue, Room 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201

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Jason Moore

Jason W. Moore
Associate Professor of Sociology
Binghampton University

Jason W. Moore is associate professor of sociology at Binghamton University, and coordinator of the World-Ecology Research Network. He writes frequently on the history of capitalism in Europe, Latin America, and the United States, from the long 16th century to the neoliberal era.

His research has been recognized with the Braverman Award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (1999), Bernstein and Byres Prize in Agrarian Studies (2011), Distinguished Scholarship Award for the American Sociological Association’s Political Economy of the World-System Section (2002, and 2011 honorable mention), and Alice Hamilton Prize of the American Society for Environmental History (2004).

His Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital will be published with Verso in July, 2015. He is presently completing Ecology and the Rise of Capitalism, an environmental history of the rise of capitalism, for the University of California Press.


Where and when do we find the origins of today’s planetary crisis? In this lecture, the Moore argues that rise of capitalism in the centuries after 1450 marked an environment-making revolution greater than any since the dawn of agriculture. Arguing that capitalism develops not only through economic process but by cultural and territorial conquests, Moore shows how the modern world was forged in a peculiar – and destructive – relation of work and energy. In this account, the work of human and extra-human natures is foregrounded, implicating the creation of “Nature” and “Humanity” – including the powerfully racialized and gendered expulsions of humans from “Humanity.” At its core, capitalism works through a strategy of Cheap Nature: one premised on the de-valuation of ‘women, nature, and colonies.’ The limits of this strategy are increasingly revealed in the ongoing exhaustion – and growing opposition to – of Cheap Nature in the early 21st century.

One thought on “Jason W. Moore at Ohio State University, 19 January, 2017

  1. Hi, I really enjoyed your latest book and I just wanted to recommend some literature that you might find useful:

    Thomas Widlok’s recent book on a very important economic ideas:

    “Anthropology and the Economy of Sharing” – Thomas Widlok

    There’s “Europe and the People Without History” by Eric R Wolf which is a gem of a book.

    David Graeber’s book on Marx and Mauss’s value theory:

    “Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our Own Dreams” – David Graeber

    Graeber’s very interesting paper “Transformation of Slavery Turning Modes of Production Inside Out: Or, Why Capitalism is a Transformation of Slavery”:

    Click to access graeber_2006a.pdf

    “Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight” – Timothy Pachirat

    Tim Ingold’s work:

    “The perception of the environment: essays on livelihood, dwelling and skill” – Tim Ingold.

    “Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description” – Tim Ingold

    All of James C. Scott’s oeuvre:

    Massimo De Angelis very interesting version of autonomist Marxism presented in his two books:

    “The Beginning of History: Value Struggles and Global Capital” – Massimo De Angelis

    “Omnia Sunt Communia: On the Commons and the Transformation to Postcapitalism” – Massimo De Angelis

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